Where Does Your Paper Come From?

"In today's business environment, your choice of supply is a strong reflection on your company's values, whether it is intended or not," said Dave Deger, vice president, marketing for NewPage, a paper manufacturer in the United States and Canada.

"If your company associates with a paper manufacturer potentially engaged in illegal logging, questionable labor practices, or unverifiable sources of fiber, it is at risk of becoming associated with those issues, too, potentially damaging the company's reputation for upholding its own sustainability practices," Deger added.

To increase awareness of current practices, the company has launched a Web site, www.PaperTellsAStory.com, where visitors can learn more about paper origins. The Web site raises questions and explores issues of concern surrounding some imported paper from Asia, and the questionable practices behind some paper manufacturing operations there.

"We feel it's the responsibility of NewPage to dramatically raise awareness of the potential hidden risks associated with some Asian imports," explained Rick Willett, president and chief operating officer for NewPage. "A failure to ask some basic questions of your suppliers can lead to the very real potential that you are unknowingly importing a fair amount of risk along with your paper."

North American paper manufacturers are required to comply with strict environmental regulations, such as those enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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